India’s first IAS woman officer passes away at 91

Anna Rajam

Free India’s first woman IAS officer Anna Rajam Malhotra passed away on Monday in Mumbai at 91. She had joined the civil services in 1951 and had served in the Madras cadre under then Chief Minister C. Rajagopalachari and in the central government.

Born in July 1927 in Kerala’s Ernakulam district, Anna Rajam Geroge moved to Madras after completing her schooling from Kozhikode to pursue higher studies at the Madras University.

During her interview, she was told that foreign services and Central Services are more suitable for women officers, still she opted to join the civil services.

Anna also worked closely with Rajiv Gandhi when he was in charge of the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi. She had also accompanied late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on many state trips.

Anna had also served in the personnel department of the Ministry of Home Affairs, thus becoming the first woman to hold a secretarial post in the Central government.

Retired in 1996, Anna was also responsible for building India’s first computerised port Nhavasheva in Mumbai.

In 1989, she was honoured with the third highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan.

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